Alain Resnais' Wild Grass has plenty of fans. It received an award at Cannes in 2009. But the 87-year-old filmmaker's latest is an insufferable exercise in cutie-pie modernism, painfully unfunny and precious to a fault.
Georges (André Dussollier) finds a bright-red wallet that was stolen from Marguerite (Sabine Azéma). A middle-aged man with a suburban chateau and who's married to the beautiful and adoring Suzanne (Anne Consigny), Georges has an active fantasy life. He becomes fixated to the point of stalking the mysterious Marguerite. She is a fanciful creature — a maladroit dentist and a weekend aviatrix. Marguerite initially rebuffs but then pursues her admirer in a tedious dance of attraction-avoidance.
Suzanne's acceptance of Georges' foibles and his passion for Marguerite pale beside Resnais' devotion to the actress who plays the role. Azéma's hoarse quaver is extolled in the movie as uniquely charming; her mangy orange bouffant hairdo, less quirky than wildly unflattering, suggests a production of The Lion King.